News & ToursFebruary 20, 2009

Has Mercedes-Benz Decided To Punt?

Has Mercedes-Benz decided to punt on the season-opening tournament of champions it has sponsored since 1994? Recent news suggests that could very well be the case.

A decision from Mercedes-Benz USA should be announced soon regarding its future involvement with the Mercedes-Benz Championship at Kapalua Resort's Plantation Course in Maui, Hawaii. Mercedes has one more year on its contract, and news out of Kapalua last month indicated that the PGA Tour was shopping for a venue.

But perhaps the direction of the car company already has been determined. Mercedes-Benz this week is the Official Car Sponsor of the Northern Trust Open. It's the first year of a two-year agreement that includes offering courtesy cars to each of the tournament's entrants at Riviera Country Club. Mercedes also has been named a PGA of America Official Patron, a partnership that extends through 2013.

Is there any cash left for the tournament of champions? Given dismal car sales figures, you have to wonder.

--Dave Shedloski

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